The Psychology Of Color: A Feng Shui Expert Explains
Color is one of the most effective ways to shift the energy in your life. From the color of your underwear to the color you paint your walls, colors not only affect your well-being, but they also have significant meaning. Yes, even the color of your underwear!
As a feng shui practitioner and an architect, I always get asked “What color should I paint my walls?” I respond with, “What color are you most attracted to?” So in approaching this survey of colors and the feng shui psychology behind them, keep that in mind. What colors do you love, and what might you need more of in your life?
Red is an easy one. Red is related to fire energy. This color can invoke passion and fiery flames of inspiration. It's pretty intense! It's quite a statement when a woman walks into a room wearing a red dress. Because reds are very stimulating, in a home I'd recommend red for accents like pillows and art.
You can also use red sheets underneath a more subdued duvet to bring more passion into the bedroom. Alternatively, wearing red underwear can spice things up! Red is also very auspicious (lucky!) and protective in feng shui.
Pinks however, are a more mellow and/or romantic version of red, more feminine and subdued. Pink can attract love and friendship into your life. It supports a feminine, girly energy. I find a lot of us need a little more softness; pink can help!
Yellows, oranges, and browns are earthy and related to stability in feng shui. The earth is always under us to support us, isn't she? When we need some security and strength, these are the colors to incorporate into our environments.
These warm tones reflect the colors of nature such as the trunk of a strong tree or the richness of fertile soil. We tend to lead such independent lives nowadays, it's a good reminder to remember that we can ask for and receive support when we need it.
Greens and blues are also related to nature. The vibrant tones of greens and blues can mirror verdant plants and a spacious open sky. Nature and open sky, these things are really so very healing. In nature, the plants and trees just are. They don't ask us for anything, but they give us so much, like the oxygen in the air we breathe.
It's no surprise that blue and green hues are healing and therapeutic. In fact, studies show that the colors blue and green fall in the middle of the color spectrum, which is more relaxing for the eyes. You can bring in these colors beautifully with paint but even better with real plants!
Purple is also an auspicious color in feng shui, as it is related to wealth and abundance as well as spirituality. For instance, purple is the color of the crown chakra, which is where we connect with wisdom and the universal. Royalty is often associated with purple, as is the wealth area of the feng shui map.
Interestingly, purple is a combination of red and blue, which joins protection and fire with spaciousness and healing. I love to bring in this color with amethyst crystals. You can wear or place them in your environment to invite prosperity and nobility into your life.
Black is actually not a color; it absorbs all colors. If you mixed together all the colors above, you’d be left with black paint. In a sense, then, black represents wisdom and incorporates all aspects of all colors. In some feng shui rituals, we visualize that all unhealthy negative energy is transmuted into black smoke.
The black has absorbed all the negativity. Black can be used sparingly and tastefully in a home but can also be worn on the body. I especially love incorporating black tourmaline, which also transforms negative energies and provides protection. Gray tones are more subdued than black but can still welcome knowledge and wisdom.
White often represents purity in many cultures and philosophies, including feng shui. Like black, it’s not a color. With paints it’s an absense of pigments or can represent space, openness,and emptiness. I love whites! And there are so many shades that Benjamin Moore even has a whites paint deck!
White can also be used to tone down any of the other colors above. Whites can be used when we want to check back in with ourselves and start with a blank slate. White helps us to connect back to space and emptiness, giving us a place to start again.
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Anjie Cho is an architect, feng shui educator and author of Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home. Cho is a New York State registered architect, a graduate in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley, LEED Accredited Professional, and certified feng shui consultant from the BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program. Since 1999, she has been designing beautiful and nourishing spaces (inner and outer) with balance and harmony, informed by the ancient practice of feng shui. Her focus is to create nurturing and supportive environments, tailoring her practice to each individual’s specific needs.
Cho is a sought-after expert in the fields of feng shui and interior architecture. She is the owner of Anjie Cho Architect, co-founder of the Mindful Design Feng Shui School, and founder of Holistic Spaces which hosts a blog, podcast and online store. She is also an assistant teacher of dharma arts and meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Cho is a regular blog contributor to MindBodyGreen and has been featured in dozens of publications including: the New York Times, Domino Magazine and BuzzFeed.